Beginning July 1, City of Saline residents will see changes to the household recycling program.
At Monday's meeting, Saline City Council voted 6-0 (Mayor Brian Marl was absent) to approve a five year contract extension with Waste Management, which provides the city's solid waste and recycling services. There are several changes in residential services. They are effective July 1, 2014.
Here they are:
Waste Management will provide city residences with 96-gallon recycling carts. Residents can keep their old 16-gallon bins, but they won't be accepted at the curb.
Recycling collection will take place on a biweekly basis instead of ever week.
Fruit and vegetable waste can be included in the yard waste program.
After an advance call, Waste Management will collect large branches (4 to 8 feet long, up to six inches in diameter) from residences.
Waste Management will collect up to one bulk item per week.
A Saline River Drive couple, via letter, told council they had aesthetic concerns about the bigger recycling carts that were more likely to be stored outside the garage. They also voiced concerns that the provision about bulk item collection would cause more unsightly junk out at the curb.
DPW Director Jeff Fordice said the waste is not to be put out at the curb before 4 p.m. the day before collection. Fordice said it was his hope that bulk collection would reduce the amount of waste Salinians see at the curb.
“I think it will make the city cleaner looking. We have a small existing problem where people put out large items that aren't eligible for pickup because they haven't prearranged it. Sometimes they sit out there for at least a week,” Fordice said. “Hopefully the items put out now will be picked up promptly.”
Answering the question about cart placement, Fordice said containers can not be stored in the front yard. Side yard storage is permissible he said, and they can be visible from the street.
Council members polled friends and neighbors before voting on the changes.
Councillor David Rhoads said he received positive feedback.
“I received several comments since last meeting and they were all very favorable and appreciative of the idea of larger recycling containers,” Rhoads said. “The concern about collection every other week did not enter the conversation.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Linda TerHaar said her friends from Ann Arbor have the carts and prefer them to the smaller bins.
Councillor Dean Girbach noted that if residents have concerns with the way neighbors take care of their waste, they can report problems using the city's new See Click Fix app.
City leaders hope the larger carts will reverse the trend of reduced recycling in the city. The Waste Management contract proposal was also approved by the city's Environmental Commission.
This year, the city is paying Waste Management about $650,000 for its services. The new deal holds the line on cost for one year, and then allows Waste Management to increase the charges by the Detroit Area Consumer Price Index (but not greater than four percent) for each of the next four years.